Parents' Guide to

El Dorado (1967)

By Brian Costello, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 12+

Classic Western has violence, alcoholism, stereotyping.

Movie NR 1967 126 minutes
El Dorado (1967) Poster Image

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While there is certainly some period charm to this movie, much of it has not aged well. While the chemistry between Wayne and Mitchum is legendary, other aspects of El Dorado, such as alcoholism being shown as something semi-comical and a painful imitation of a Chinese man by Caan, prevent it from belonging in the league of Western movies for the ages. And while there are exciting action scenes and entertaining dialogue at times, the complicated threads of the storyline make this best for those who are already fans of Westerns.

While each individual aspect to the story is interesting enough -- rival range owners fighting for water rights, a heartbroken sheriff who can't stop drinking, a young man avenging the death of his friend, and a gunslinger trying to do the right thing in the thick of all of this -- none of these storylines quite congeal, and it's sometimes hard to figure out what's happening and why. Layers of narrative and backstory should enhance the action, not detract from it, and there are times when the action grinds to a near standstill while sorting out the motivations of the characters and the reasons for the action. This is ultimately why, despite the presence of two of film's immortals, El Dorado hasn't stood the test of time as a great movie.

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